Lolo NYC by Lauren Williams

As this blog shows there are a plethora of awesome makers, designers and creators producing the most amazing products, and Lauren Williams of Lolo NYC is at the forefront of curating a space to celebrate them. Across the Atlantic ocean, Lauren is working away to showcase these collections of thoughtfully designed pieces by creating a tactile and immersive space for customers to enjoy. From ceramics, glassware and stationery to soap and rugs; Lolo NYC has it all!

Retail as an experience is so important, having worked in it myself for many years, nothing beats a well considered boutique and the act of actually touching and feeling products. Independent shops, such as, Lolo are under a severe amount of constant pressure to stay afloat and any support is essential, especially after the year we’ve had! If I find myself in NYC anytime soon (I 100% wish) I know where i’d be heading… straight to Lolo to get one of the face glasses by Tak Tak… I die.

See what the lovely Lauren has to say below…

1.Tell us about yourself and your brand/work. 

My name is Lauren Williams Russett and I’m the founder of Lolo! I studied Apparel Design at RISD and worked as a women’s fashion designer in NYC for 8 years before founding Lolo. At least 2 of those years were spent planning Lolo secretly in my overworked noggin. Lolo is a Brooklyn based retail store (and soon-to-be coffeeshop!) replete with items for your home and your body. We focus on hand-made and thoughtfully designed pieces by emerging artists and designers. Nearly all of our inventory is by female identifying makers and/or majority women-owned businesses, but we welcome all folks and all genders to the roster and in the space. We are committed to continuously expanding the diversity of these makers. 

2.What are your Inspirations?  

I am constantly inspired by interiors, new and old, for color schemes, shapes, patterns, textures, etc. A part of me has always regretted studying fashion instead of interiors, but I do think that both worlds flow together.
In regards to general ideas, whether creative or business-wise, I always come up with something during a long run while my mind travels. Sometimes I run in silence, sometimes with a podcast. Both ways always produce some sort of idea that gets dropped into my notes app on my phone. Probably 70% of these ideas are complete shit, but yay to the other 30% and to exercise!

3.Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help?

Oh man, I hate to say that my brand relies so much on an app owned by Facebook, but it really does right now! Instagram has been a huge help during Covid while my IRL shop is closed. I used to rely mostly on my in-store sales and I used to gain new customers by word of mouth in the neighborhood or through good ol’ strolling-down-the-block-discovery. But now that I temporarily have no IRL presence, I’ve really come to rely on connecting with people through social media. Instead of talking to customers face to face, I’ve been doing it through DM’s and emails. And in return, I have so many new international and out of state customers (and friends!). Instagram is also just a generally fabulous tool to discover new brands and like-minded artists. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a “potential vendors” folder in my instagram of tagged images I connect with 😉 What’s so great about having a multi brand shop is that I can essentially make a physical space out of saved images and surround myself and others with the work of brilliant, creative minds.

4.Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I’d love for my business to no longer be bootstrapped! Bootstrapped means everything the business makes right now is basically totally reinvested into the business. I’ve barely had the chance to take a salary for myself yet and am relying on savings. I plan on opening a new retail shop/coffee shop combo this Spring… a year behind schedule for various 2020 reasons. My goal is that the double source of revenue gets Lolo’s boots unstrapped, ha! Doing so would mean I could take more risks, pay people more, and buy more things for the shop!
My advice to other entrepreneurs, especially after these past several months, would be not to rush anything and to let cues from the universe pace you a bit. Covid slowed me down, but definitely for the better. Lolo had a weird sort of luck this year in the sense that my lease on my previous retail shop ended March 1st 2020… about 2 weeks before NYC went into lockdown. This released me from the rent of an unusable space. My agreement with the landlords at my new, future space is that I do not need to pay rent until construction is completed. If I had unnaturally rushed things, I may not be in this very lucky situation.

5.Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

Recently, I’ve been totally obsessed with everything I see Emma Kohlmann making. Those burnt wood frames around her paintings?! I gasped. Her show at Jack Hanley Gallery was stunning and created a little world full of detail that I would love to live in.

Meeting the Makers: Rachel Louise.

My sister Rachel, the awesomely talented and thoughtful artist that reflects largely on her own most inner fears and feelings. I’m not going to attempt to un-pack her work as this is merely an introduction and would probably be weird…because she’s my sister!? but I did want to confess to being her biggest fan and i’m super proud to have some of her work available over on the shop.

See what she (briefly!) has to say below…

Portrait by Lauren Maccabee ( for

1. Tell us about yourself…
An artist currently living in London

2. When/how did the two chosen drawings come to be?
The one of myself and the baby doll with legs in the air, was made in 2018 and the still life was in 2020, at the start of the UK pandemic lockdown.

3. Do you have any advice to other emerging artists/makers?
Talk with each other, work together, collaborate, take your time, ask questions, share thoughts, support each other. It’s easy to feel alone and silly till you find many people doing and feeling the same. The status quo wants us to compete with each other but the capitalist road is lonely and destructive.

4. What’s your favourite time/place to draw?
Any time, sitting at a table or sitting in bed.

5. Who are your favourite current artists/makers working now?
That is very very hard because there are so many people I admire, I have tried to make artist ‘highlights’ on my instagram but it still can not fit everyone in. For today and always I will say @badsauna @suekreitzman and @prettypillowprincess to begin with.

Julia Elsas

There are those times when you see something on the internet and instantly fall head over heels in love, well…that happened with me and Julia’s awesome ceramic work. With bold colours and imperfect but perfectly formed designs Julia’s ceramic collections are aesthetic forces to be reckoned with.

As Julia mentions below she reacted to a hole in the market for functional artful products and she was so so right. You know what is hard to find? GOOD WALL HOOKS!!! These wonderful handmade hooks fill that void that is usually just filled with horrible minimalist metal or weird pine wall hooks perfectly.

Merging her artistic crafts perfectly, whether it’s her installation art or ceramic lines; each are a clear extension of herself, her passions and inspirations. As Julia discusses below, she wants these crafts (and the crafting/ small business world) to create a sustainable and community driven world, imagining a more localised economy where independent creators and businesses are supported (which is something, fingers crossed, I have seen coming into fruition over the past few months.)

Please read on, Julia has given one of my favourite and most insightful bunch of answers to the five questions!

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

Hello! My name is Julia Elsas. I am a visual artist and currently live in Brooklyn, NY. I work with ceramics, printmaking, installation and performance. My first NY solo show is open now until November 28th at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn. I also have a line of ceramic goods which include wall hooks, menorahs, necklaces and vases. The ceramic products I make either started as small sculptural elements in larger installations, or they were created as functional artful objects that I couldn’t find elsewhere. The first pieces I officially released into the world as ceramic ‘products’ outside of my visual art were ceramic necklaces. Over time I began making and selling ceramic wall hooksmenorahs, and tube vases. I initially marketed my ceramic product line under a different name, but last year I switched back to releasing everything under my name. I hope my art can lead people to the smaller objects for sale and visa versa. 

  1. What are your Inspirations?

My list of inspirations is endless. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and spent summers driving around the southeastern part of the United States visiting “folk artists” like Howard FinsterMose Toliver and places like Ave Maria Grotto.  My mom gave me a copy of Amiri Baraka’s “Hunting is not the Heads on the Wall” (published in 1964 when he went by Le Roi Jones) when I was in high school, and it profoundly affected my ideas about art and life and how, for many/most non-western cultures, the two are completely intertwined and inseparable. Other inspirations: Nina Simone; Hilma af Klint; Gees Bend quilts; Shaker Gift Drawings; Mexican textiles by Josefa Ibarra; Sophie Calle; The Discipline of Do Easy, by William S. Burroughs and Gus van Sant; and it continues…

3.Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

Social media is a terrible and dangerous platform if you are looking for sincere human interaction and connection. It has contributed to a vast amount of misinformation and divisiveness in our country and around the world. On the other hand (!), Instagram has been 100% helpful for marketing my work, getting new stocklists, discovering new artists, etc.

 4.Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I am working on some large orders (very large for me!) this holiday season for new stocklists. I feel fortunate to have the work, especially at a time when so many people are out of jobs, but long term bigger isn’t necessarily better for me. I’m happy to keep my business small and make my products mostly in-house. It’s important for me to keep the quality of craftsmanship high and stay true to myself as an artist. In the next few years I would love to work on limited edition projects with other artists, designers and artful brands. As my business grows, it’s important for me to figure out how to create sustainable long-term ways to give back to my community. I love what artists are doing in the Level Up Project

Some of the best advice I have gotten is to take the leap and get your work out there! Your website and line sheet don’t have to be perfect. You can always tweak designs, prices, and products as you go. You have to spend money to make money – especially if you are investing in making ceramic products to sell! Take a risk and invest in yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice along the way.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? 

There are so many, but first and foremost,

Love and Victory  is run by my friend Meg Morehouse. Meg designs barware and a range of cocktail-related goods, but she is also a fierce activist and a constant inspiration. 

Sheena Sood was a student of mine at the Lower East Side Print Shop, and I love watching her clothing brand, Abacaxi grow! I don’t have any of her pieces yet, but I’m eyeing a few items from her latest collection.

I am so impressed by Sarah Hussaini / Not Work Related  and how she grabbed the pandemic by the horns and moved a wheel into the bathroom of her Brooklyn apartment to continue throwing pots when everything was shut down. I was lucky enough to snag one of her ceramic mugs made during that time. They sell out in a few minutes!

I subscribed to Michelle Ishikawa’s Okimoto  flower share this summer, and it brought me beauty and wonderment during a strange and stressful time. Michelle says it better than I can on her website: “She strives to give back to the earth as much as we collectively borrow from it, and is dedicated to furthering discourse on how to mindfully steward our environment and radically dream of a more equitable and just economic future.” 

I’m obsessed with Anders Hamilton’s Crater Cups recently released through BKLYN Clay. I want them all.

Evie by Faye Joynes

Faye reached out recently as she wanted to share her newly created label, Evie, and of course I was happy to provide a space to celebrate this up and coming brand.

Evie is a 90s/00s dream with stripped back two pieces made from slinky and supple fabrics- with the additional awesome jacket thrown in for good measure! See the last image for Faye’s latest woollen jacket creation and a very exciting nod to what she has up her sleeves.

Passionate about change and re-imagining how fashion can work; Faye uses dead-stock fabrics and has a made-to-order ethos, resulting in less waste and a more considered and tailored product. Also, 10% of profits of any Evie orders go to women’s charities.

Evie is the result of Faye’s talent but also the time now presented to her because of a redundancy due to the pandemic. As I’ve mentioned before the outpouring of new indie business and online spaces has been a highly interesting and refreshing approach to such an odd time. Wonderfully creative and talented people using this time to build something has been such a positive to emerge and Evie is no exception.

I can’t wait to see what else Faye produces and how her business grows, see what she has to say about Evie’s inception below…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

I founded Evie because I love fashion, but I felt guilty about buying clothing which I knew was unsustainable and unethical. I wanted to create a brand that feels as good to buy as it does to wear, because you know you’re contributing to something positive. As well as being a made-to-order brand which means low-waste, I use sustainable fabrications such as deadstock and natural materials. I also want to help empower those often exploited by the garment industry by donating 10% of my profits to women’s charities.Before starting Evie, I worked as a womenswear designer for various companies in London and abroad, but was constantly thinking about starting my own brand. After being furloughed and eventually made redundant from my job, I moved back to Manchester (where I went to uni), and decided to take the plunge!

  1. What are your Inspirations?

My main inspiration comes from nostalgia- I’m a very nostalgic person and love looking back on memories and old photos, magazines and films. I have a lot of emotion attached to the 90s in particular, because having been born in the 90s, a lot of my favourite music and films growing up was of that era, so my silhouette and fabric references often stem from this.Films by Greta Gerwig and Sofia Coppola also really inspire me- Ladybird is one of my all-time favourite films and I love the aesthetic of The Virgin Suicides.

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

I definitely think it’s a help, because I’ve been able to reach people over social media who I wouldn’t have reached otherwise. I also think it’s great to be able to interact with customers/followers – showing them behind the scenes and how their pieces are made as well as getting their opinions of fabrics etc.That being said, I’m finding it really hard to grow on instagram. It’s not easy for a small brand to reach new people but I’m constantly encouraged by friends who share my work!

  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

On a selfish/personal level, I’d like my business to be my full-time job in a few years, as I currently work part-time in hospitality to support my brand. Doing Evie full-time would be a dream! On a more meaningful level, I have a strong idea of what I want Evie to be- a positive fashion brand which can give back to the community in some way as well as being a really fun label to wear. I hope to do this by working with local seamstresses, photographers and crafts people, and contributing to the creative industry in the North. In terms of advice, I would just say start before you’re ready, because if you don’t you’ll just never start!

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

There are so many! A few brands I love are Marques’ Almeida, Acne Studios and Pamola Wool. I also find brands such as Olivia Rose The Label and Maison Cleo really inspiring because they showed me that you don’t need to produce stock in factories to start a label. @saeshablue and @franrowsevisuals are amazing photographers whose work I love and I have been lucky to work with.I also love @rhiannaellington prints, @annarobertsstudio artworks and @thephatchrub vintage jewellery!

Aisling Duffy

Aisling Duffys’ work is my grown up grunger dream attire.

With babydoll patchwork dresses; re-worked denim jackets adorned with handmade patches; and oversized tie-dye long sleeves with added lace edging. Aisling uses a mixture of medias and elements to create her collections, with many of her own illustrations used throughout and much of the fabric upcycled. Passionate about sustainability, Aisling is dedicated to creating and reimaging pre-existing fabric: Which is probably the most consistent and sustainable way of creating new clothing….ripping up and re-using the old!

As Aisling mentions, her collections are very weighted in the culture she surrounded herself with when she was younger and that is absolutely clear to see. With a DIY approach to her work, it reminds me of the ‘can do’ attitude of many of my friends that grew up in the same cultures. With many putting on shows, making zines or creating something off their own back, this way of working is something I absolutely love to recognise in people.

I can’t wait to see what Aisling will be working on next. So, please read on to find out more about her wonderfully nostalgic, considered and genuinely fun collections…

1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work
Hi I’m Aisling. I run a small label where I make handmade mostly one~of~a~kind pieces using my prints , upcycled fabrics and materials. Each year I make two main collections for my stockist & throughout the year I do limited drops through my website.I use deadstock, upcycled and organic fabrics where ever possible.I like to work on one~of~a~kind or made~to~order basis meaning there is no waste or overproduction

2. What are your inspirations?
I am mostly inspired by themes of Identity, Personality & Self-Exploration throughout my work. I use a lot of imagery and text that explores these themes in my prints & artwork.I try to address Social Issues that I am passionate about such as Climate Change, Environment and Sustainable Fashion through my choice of fabrics and DIY aesthetic.Music was a big part of my youth, and still is today, so I think the culture of going to shows and how me & my peers dressed feeds into how I style and design my collections.

3. Lets chat about social media – a hindrance or a help?
I think a bit of both. Having an online presence is very important for any brand or business in todays world. It allows people from all over the world discover and connect with your work. The flip side of this for me is that I find running my social medias stressful at times, this year in particular I have had many moments of feeling very overwhelmed by internet culture. As someone who has anxiety I find that when someone says something negative or critical ( whether or not they mean to) it can cause me to doubt everything I have worked towards & built so it is definitely a fine balance of being a hindrance or a help!

4. Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice.
My main goal over the next few years is to reach a stage where my business is fully financially stable. That’s the dream! I love designing custom pieces for artists, musicians and performers so I would like that to become a bigger part of my brand. I would also love to get some more stockists and launch a sustainable dress collection to be stocked worldwide.
Running a business solo is hard work so my biggest advice would be to stay passionate & know your values – whenever there are big decisions to be made always come back to these values to guide and inform what is best for your business

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?
There are so many incredible small businesses out there! But here is a small list:
Eloise Hanikene
Cat O’Brien
Laoise Carey
Meg Beck
Mutter Metalworks
One Soft Hand

Lotta Blobs by Shantelle Hyslop

As probably the newest brand and creator I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to, Shantelle has it nailed already!

Lotta Blobs is a simple concept but clearly super effective, with 17.8k followers on Instagram in a few months. Shantelle has tapped into the airy, fun and girly interior trend as well as the selfie sharing culture that dominates the social media app: clearly a powerful combination. Pastel, cute and slightly abstract, these mirrors tick all the boxes.

It’s been so awesome discovering so many creators that have obviously seen a lack of something in the interior/design/fashion market and have successfully filled it with their own creations. The past two creators have dealt mainly with mirrors…. and they are totally right to- affordable design led, unusual mirrors are hard to come by and are evidently in demand. Unfortunately this will most probably result in the big retailers lazily copying them and churning them out for the masses by next year (WE SEE YOU!!), but as always, these creative makers will be producing considered and well made products nonetheless. As always, shop small and support independent business and makers- they are always the first to do it and should be recognised for their creative visions/ buying habits/ risks.

Check out what Shantelle had to say about her wonderful creations…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work. 

I’m Shantelle, creator of Lotta Blobs. I’m a Graphic Designer by day and blob sculptor by night! Lotta Blobs is a London based brand where I create bright coloured sculpted mirrors. My aim is to add a touch of colour and fun to everyone’s reflection! 

  1. What are your Inspirations? 

I’m an avid homeware collector so I’ve always wanted to create something that I’d love to stumble upon and add to my collection at home. I’m always on the hunt for something that is colourful and seems one of a kind so I try and replicate that in my designs.

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help?

Mostly helping! I started the business on Instagram so I have it to thank for the success so far. Though I am slowly getting overwhelmed by my DM’s filling up daily!

  1. Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice?

I honestly have no idea! Lotta Blobs is just over a month old so I’m just riding the wave for now! I would like to collaborate with other creatives and develop my collection.

  1.  Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? 

I love: @squaresandthings // @emilystollery // @lucycarterart // @low_____tide // @sophiecolle // @bougiewoogie___ // @nataconceptstore

Al’s Place by Alice Kelly

As we begin to enter our second lock down and I start to write this introduction for ‘Al’s Place’, the two seemingly are counter opposites. What or how could bright and bold woven mirrors and rugs have anything to do with a global pandemic?

WELL, Alice, the owner, creator and maker or Al’s Place has dedicated her lockdown time to perfecting the art of tufting -as have many people, with rugs popping up everywhere! However, Alice has truly nailed it, with super bold, perfectly clashing colour combinations and graphic but simple designs- these mirrors and rugs are some of the stand out tufting work I’ve seen.

With only a few mirrors made and sold monthly, these babies sell out fast. Each one is individual and handmade; which is a rarity in these mass produced, consumer driven times- Alice is focussed on quality over quantity…and it shows.

I think it is no coincidence that this platform I’m working on has emerged out of these strange times but also that I am spoilt for choice when approaching awesome small businesses to take part. Many of these are the result of this strange year, which is an absolute positive to take away from all this- to see that many, including Alice, have used this time to master a skill and create something for themselves. That is in no way meant to disparage those that have chosen Netflix over the tufting gun…hello! I’m right there with you. BUT it is a positive to take away and Al’s Place is absolute evidence of that.

See what Alice had to say to the usual questions below…

1.Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

I’m Alice & I’m the founder of Al’s Place (it feels funny saying that)! I started Al’s Place properly in June after having to come home from travelling Australia due to covid, which I’m now grateful for because it gave me the opportunity to grow my business & have the freedom to be creative! My first ever tufted pieces were my 2 degree show rugs, I remember seeing tufting on instagram and I rung my mum instantly like “I NEED a tufting gun!”. My aim with Al’s Place to make products to brighten up peoples home with colour and texture, my most popular item at the moment is my tufted mirrors! When I made my first tufted mirror, it was just an experiment that I thought wouldn’t really work & I’d just keep it for myself, now they sell out in minutes! Experimenting with different mediums and not giving up when we don’t get it right the first time always work out so much better than we anticipate! I currently make everything myself in my little studio in the UK and my next mirror drop will be in November. 

2.What are your inspirations?

I honestly just love anything colourful, because currently working from home a lot of my recent inspiration has come from everyday life and online. I also like using instagram and as inspiration, following creatives helps and I also find amazing colour combinations on there! But inspiration always comes at the most random times, I’m constantly scribbling down every idea that comes to my mind.

3.Lets chat about social media – a hindrance or help? 

I definitely think its a big help! It’s important to be following the right people, so if you end up in a scroll you’re being inspired by other creatives! I think finding the right balance with social media is so important, I do try and limit my time on social media. Otherwise, it can be hard to actually turn off!

4.Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice?

I would like to be in a bigger studio! I’d like to still be making mirrors & rugs. I also want to have experimented with other interior based items like cushions, maybe some different shapes and sizes of tufted mirrors too! My advice would be to be excited and passionate about your product and other people will be to! Make sure you’re loving everything you’re creating!

5.Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

I love @theflowerandtheflea on instagram, Amber makes flower charms using rare & colourful vintage glass beads from the 30’s-60’s which she finds at thrift markets. I absolutely love thrift markets and charity shops so her ethos is right up my street! I also love the charms and wear mine everyday. 

@zoejanebb makes the most beautiful delicate ceramics in lovely pastel colours! I love her checkered and cow print vases as well as her ‘sunbathing lady’ ceramics. Her mug drop is coming soon & I’m v excited!

I also love @protocole_bourgeois, making lovely paper lamps in lots of designs! I love the nude checkered hanging lamp.

Getting to Know the Makers: Penina Zeltser.

As this space, ‘Hi Good Stuff!’ chops and changes and I begin to figure out what it is I’d like for it to ultimately be. I know for sure I want it to be a somewhere for discovery and a place for sharing. So, with this in mind I’m so excited to introduce, Penina Zeltser; the first up and coming maker to be stocked over on the webstore.

Peninas’ collection is entirely made by her hands, from the printing of the fabric to the meticulous and contrasting stitching, everything has been considered by Penina. With the best natural fabrics used throughout, the textures and feeling of the items available are full of character and depth: No two items are the same.

I hope you all like this new element within this ‘HGS’ project and I hope to be able to make other new designers and makers available to you in the future. But firstly, please enjoy learning about this collection, so much thought and work went into it.

1. Tell us about yourself and your work.

Hello I’m Penina a Print/Pattern Designer from the earth toned burbs of North London. My aim for my most recent collection ‘The Psychedelic Fairy Garden’ was to create pieces that almost worked like psychedelics. I wanted the prints to be bold, the colours to be vibrant and the designs to float. With prints and colours that harmonise with any personality. I wanted the collection to make women feel empowered, beautiful and free. I’m a strong believer in the importance of how clothes make you feel. Having worked in the fashion industry for 4 years I’ve seen the relationship between designs and our psychologies. It can shift our moods, feed our souls and make us fly. I feel as though I have created this in my collection. I hope you enjoy viewing this psychedelic journey; it’s been an experience I’ve truly enjoyed and can’t wait for all the adventures that the collection will take me.

2. What are your methods and thoughts behind your work? 
All my fabrics are hand screen-printed. 

  • I start off with a small sketch from my lil sketchbooks. 
  • Then I enlarge the designs and upload them to photoshop to create the pattern; this is one of my favourite parts I love to experiment with the compositions and repeat. The exploration is endless and you can elevate the image to so many levels. 
  • Once the image is ready I often will invert it so that I can have 2 colours side by side. 
  • I print the images onto Polyester Laser Film (which is necessary for screen-printing)- I use Panopus printing in Highbury and Islington. 
  • I source my fabric from the Cloth House in Camden- I usually stick with Cottons, Muslins and Linens. 
  • Then you’re ready to screen print- you need to prep your screen and wash/iron/pin your fabric. Please see my Textile Screen Printing 101 videos here to see the process more: 

I love this process of printed textiles. Once you know the method you just flow through the procedure without thinking too much. It’s extremely therapeutic and meditative. The satisfaction of making is something I’m really interested in- it can help relieve stress by allowing us to be present and focus. As an avid Yogi I need methods like this to keep me grounded and motivated. 

3. What are your Inspirations? 
My current collection has been inspired by 60s culture, the flower power movement and the psychedelic era. The colours, energy and vibe is all something I’ve tried to emulate in my work. I’m always on the lookout for colour inspiration; I’m constantly noticing colours from signage or graffiti; it helps to inspire me to use colour in a more elevated experimental way. I also take great inspiration from magazines such as Buffalo, I-D, Wonderland, Wallpaper etc. 

4.Where would you like to be in 5 years? 
I am currently working on a website that will be a unique fabric stock. It will be filled with all my prints and designs. The aim is to collaborate with designers and brands to create something truly special. So in 5 years I would love that to be in full swing and to have worked on some amazing projects using my fabric. 

5. What is your favourite item in the collection? 
I love the Patchwork Utility Jacket. Not only are the colours and print clashes mad exciting but it is so adaptable. In the winter it can easily be paired with a turtleneck to keep you toasty. Or in the summer it can be matched with a lil’ vest, bikini top or bandeau. It’s truly seasonless!

Rhianna Ellington

Overtly girly and yet tonal airbrush art work? A love for overlooked British design label Meadham Kirchhoff? And an appreciation for Disney? I . Am. In.

Rhianna Ellingtons’ work is a dreamscape of pastiche inspirations, textural art work that looks good enough to eat and vivid but muted tones…if that makes sense. Looking at her work it is clear to see she has previously worked with luxury fashion houses. Rhiannas’ work is honed, polished and considered- with a concise vision of what it is she wants to achieve. From the work that is already being produced, it is clear to see that her future sustainable projects will be totally delicious; this can be seen in her dreamy facemasks and art prints that are currently available. I love finding artists like her, with a similar set of interests and passions, the art that is produced is 100% right up my street and I, honestly, can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeves.

Finally, lets just put our hands together for the collages I was sent by Rhianna. The colours, textures and references. So. Good.

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work. 

I am an English textiles and surface pattern designer who specialises in fabric development, printed textiles and digital design. In 2018 I completed a Masters in Textiles Print at the Royal College of Art and since then I have been working as a fabric developer in the luxury fashion industry for brands such as Acne Studios and Erdem. Currently I am focused on freelancing and developing my own design practice.

  1. What are your Inspirations?

There are so many things that inspire me, from fashion designers, films, cartoons and artists. I have listed a few below.
I love 80s airbrush artwork and advertisements, for example Pater Sato, Yosuke Onishi and Masao Saito are some of my favourites.
I also get a lot of inspiration from nature, the sky and being outdoors.
A lot of my work is very colourful and I get some of my colour inspiration from cartoons and anime! I once based my colour palette for a project from a scene from Disney’s Fantasia. Recently my colour palettes have been getting a lot darker and the inspiration behind this has come from re-watching a lot of David Lynch films such as Lost Highway, Blue Velvet and the TV show Twin Peaks.
Some of my favourite fashion designers that inspire me are Ashley Williams, Mimi Wade, Mowalola, Gucci, as well as vintage collections from Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake. Meadham Kirchhoff was the first designer that made me really want to work as a fashion textiles artist.  

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

A little of both. I have a love/hate relationship with social media! It has really helped me build an audience for my work but I find it a very negative environment and it is becoming harder and harder to grow through social media.

  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I am currently working towards starting my own sustainable, slow fashion brand, focusing on my prints, artwork and fabrics. I really hope that it will grow slowly and I can share my work this way.
My advice for anyone wanting to do something similar is to take your time with it. I am so glad I took time away from my work and spent some time in the industry, as it made me realise what is important to me as a designer and how I want to develop. I have wanted to have my own brand forever and I want to do things sustainably, slowly and beautifully.

 5.Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

I love this questions! I have listed a few below.
Vona (@bravona) is a lingerie/corset designer.Cursed (@yoursocursed) is a new brand set up by a mother and her two daughters.Leigh Miller (@leighmillerjewelry) who makes handmade sculptural jewellery.Pauline Bonnet (@paulinebonnt) who is a ceramic and glass designerIria Ashimine (@iria_mine) a Japanese jewellery brandAnna Mills (@annam.lls) Designer/artistJosefin Zachrisson (@josefinzachrisson) Artist, designer and model. Paula Codoner (@paulacodoner) PhotographerAnna Koak (@annakoak) ArtistLuna Crochet Studio (@LunaCrochetStudio ) Handmade crochet garments made in Copenhagen.Emma Brewin (_emmabrewin_) Clothing brand

Psychic Outlaw by Rebecca Wright.

As Instagram start-up businesses go, Psychic Outlaw have grown from strength to strength, with an instantly recognisable product. Now with a small team working on this recycling, reimagining and handmade goodness, this business is an absolute success story- owner and creator Rebecca Wright must be so proud of the community she’s formed.

With two main product options available- the quilted collection and bandanna collections- this focus on a classic silhouette alongside vintage and recycled fabrics is a win. With a tailored, one off service you are able to have your dream coat or jacket created just for you: Psychic Outlaw is the epitome of sustainable small batch making and is a new and exciting way of consuming fashion.

I once saw the team address peoples concerns about their use of antique quilts, which is a totally fair concern as many of these vintage quilts are the result of the creators love and hard work; with the concern that these timeless patchworks are being cut up for a, dare I say it, current trend. These concerns were met with absolute understanding, awareness and respect for the vintage, one-off fabrics they are using- with many of the quilts they offer being damaged beyond repair or the customer supplying their own. Psychic Outlaw, in my opinion, provides a service whereby customers are able to reimagine and recycle cherished fabrics, re-creating a family heirloom or much loved vintage quilt and giving it a new lease of life.

The individual service that is available within this growing business should be recognised by large retail giants. With a genuine concern and love for their customers and appreciators, Psychic Outlaw is paving the way for an exciting and personal online retail approach.

See what Rebecca answered to the usual questions…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. I began sewing as a child, making outfits for my dolls with hand stitching & hot glue. I got more into fashion in my mid 20’s & I decided to make it my career. In college I studied Fibres & Textile Design, fashion has always just been a fun hobby/ way of self expression. I was originally using the Psychic Outlaw name as my vintage clothing resale shop and then I started adding in a few of my handmade pieces here and there. When I saw the demand more specifically for my handmade goods, that is when I decided to go full force with my handmade items which was the birth of Psychic Outlaw as we know it today. 
  1. What are your Inspirations?  The textiles themselves inspire me within Psychic Outlaw. I’m a textile freak! I love anything vintage and cool and beautiful. I see something I love, and want to figure out how to wear it. Fashion is so important to me so I always try to combine textiles and fashion. I have a great love of thrifting and adventure hunting – being creative with what you have is my true inspiration.
  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? Social media is an amazing tool if you are a business trying to connect with people. It provides the ability to give great customer service without having a store front. That’s a big reason why our brand does really well – we respond to all DMs and talk to our customers everyday.
  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? I think that the way that I’d like to grow is to have more products and more designs. I would love for COVID to go away so we can start attending events within our community. I love to have really good products to go along with our classics and to continue to recycle and build within our community of creatives. My advice would be to never stop creating, finish what you start, and work on your art everyday.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? @Lifershop, @shesbobbylynn @squidvishuss, @mercedezrexdesigns @shelbyrahe, @jxnart, and many vintage sellers